July 23, 2011

Time Banking/Co-Production Video

Filed under: Relocalization — Tags: , — Russ @ 12:59 pm


Here’s a short introduction to time banking by its inventor, Edgar Cahn. Time banking and co-production, like P2P/open source, is a transitional concept and practice between capitalism and full economic democracy. I’ll be writing lots more about this.
This intro is pretty good. His only real stumble is the way he keeps referring to “scarcity” as if it actually exists, as opposed to being something artificially generated by capitalism. But then, Cahn is a reformist who regards co-production as the end goal rather than the transitional step it really is.


  1. Thank you Russ for sharing this, I appreciate all your emails. If you could start a time bank community, where would you like to live? Where’s a good location?

    Comment by William — July 23, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    • Hi William,

      You can start a time bank anywhere there are people who want to strengthen their community and are interested in an alternative to the market economy. I guess the perfect place would be where a large number of such committed people existed and also had a diverse array of practical (relocalization) and professional expertise. Lots of ongoing agriculture and other food growing would be a big plus as well, since time banking can be an excellent complement to relocalization of food production and distribution. As we speak I’m trying to figure out how to use our new time bank toward galvanizing our own food efforts. (I don’t have a specific plan mapped out yet.)

      But failing that (and no one starts out with such a perfect membership), the right place to start a time bank is wherever you are. By now there are hundreds of them, mostly in the US and UK, but also in dozens of other countries.

      Comment by Russ — July 23, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  2. Thank you Russ for getting back with me so quickly! Again, I really appreciate your blog and everything your doing here. I look forward to your next essay.

    Comment by William — July 23, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

    • You’re welcome William, and thanks.

      Comment by Russ — July 24, 2011 @ 5:54 am

  3. Thanks for this video. I got that he was trying to differentiate between barter and time banking, where barter has the element of scarcity and abundance. For example, an ounce of silver would only exchange for a gram of gold, as silver is more abundant than gold, or conversely gold is more scarce than silver.

    Comment by tawal — July 26, 2011 @ 1:58 am

    • Also, barter is taxable, while for the time being time banking is not. That’s because with time banking all hours are equal, nothing is exchanged according to any market-based metric, and the transactions are only moral contracts, not legal ones. Supposedly its “charitable” nature also went into the tax bureaucracies’ decisions in the US and UK.

      (Though if it ever really takes off we can expect the kleptocracy to try to suppress it that way.)

      Comment by Russ — July 26, 2011 @ 3:37 am

      • Thanks Russ. I’ll have to delve into it more. I can see how some transactions could be construed as forms of both. Say I weed your garden, and you sew me a shirt with material you bought.

        Comment by tawal — July 26, 2011 @ 10:52 am

      • As long as each hour of work no matter what its nature is tallied equally, and the shirt isn’t bought and sold (the person sewing can be compensated for the materials), it’s not barter but reciprocal gifting.


        Comment by Russ — July 26, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  4. […] form of loose reviews of No More Throw-Away People: The Co-Production Imperative, the manifesto of Edgar Cahn, pioneer of time banking. I’m doing this to help work out my own ideas about my […]

    Pingback by Co-Production and Time Banking (Introduction) « Volatility — August 2, 2011 @ 3:48 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: